Just wanted to share: in a IRC chat earlier, I wondered how I could best channel my internal 4th grader for my characters given how my memories of my childhood fade a bit more every year. Melissa (ziplizard) had the great suggestion to listen to songs from when I was in fourth grade. Usually I listen to movie sound tracks that evoke the emotions I am writing about; but thus far, listening to 70's songs has been very, very helpful for me. I'm familiar with those songs, so I don't even pay attention to the song lyrics and thus they aren't distracting.
Here is my grooveshark playlist (grooveshark is a great place to build playlists for NaNo'ing)
What soundtracks are you listening to? And what are your sources for the music?
I absoluely cannot write if I can understand the lyrics to a song playing in my ear, so I tend to write to things like Sigur Ros (which is beautiful music anyhow).
However, if the novel itself had a soundtrack it would be primarily punk music for the first half, and rock for the second. I'm incorporating a lot of fictional band names from 2075(Pink Mutiny, the Riotmancers, 23rd Century Birthday Party) because my main protagonist is huge into their music.
I always write to music. Like you Tim I tend to find music that evokes feelings in me that I want to put into my writing. I also like soundtracks for the more powerful scenes. "Shakespeare in Love" is for my sappier moments. I listen to 30 Seconds to Mars music when I am writing fight scenes or action.When I don't have a set mood in mind I listen to hardcore techno. I never listen to it unless I write. It triggers a certain part of my brain to fire. The beat keeps my fingers moving and it opens my mind up for some reason.
Fiction, by Yuki Kajiura (especially "Key of the Twilight" and "Fake Wings"). She's an amazing songwriter and musician. Also, Unhappy Refrain, a Vocaloid album by Wowaka; sometimes the entire album, sometimes just "Uraomote Lovers" on repeat. It's a perfect track for grinding out word count really quickly when you're behind - at least when you're writing something actiony. Fast tempo, gets my mind moving, and I don't get caught up in the lyrics, since I can't follow them with my meager Japanese skills.
I'm able to write to music that has words as long as its music that I'm very familiar with. If it's stuff that I've listened to endlessly already, the lyrics fade into the background for me and become part of the mood/tone that I'm writing. So far this year, I've been listening mainly to Rilo Kiley. I just recently got into their discography, so they've been on my mind. Typically, my novel's soundtrack is just whatever I'm really into at the moment. Last year it was the Arctic Monkeys' latest album. Very different feel from Rilo Kiley.
I love 8Tracks. It's user curated playlists of all sorts. If you like writing to music or need to evoke a certain mood, someone on 8Tracks will have made a playlist. You can plug virtually any keyword into the search box and come up with something. Sometimes it's just fun to plug in random words and come up with a playlist. The other day I put "Halloween" and "Goth" and, yep, someone had made a few creepy playlists. It's also great for discovering new music.
Anything sad and pathetic, really. Hmm. I really like listening to Death is the road to Awe by Clint Mansell, anything by Clint Mansell is amazing. He's an absolute genius. Also, Smashing Pumpkins, Crestfallen and Apples and Oranges I listen to that a lot when writing. Scorpions, Send me an Angel, and Send me an Angel by Real Life. Oh, there's so many songs. so many.
I don't listen to music while writing, but I do use music for inspiration. This time around, I've gottena lot of help from Fall Out Boy and Rise Against. The energies in their music have really invoked the kind of fast-paced action I envisioned forseveralparts in my stories. In fact, I choreographed one fight scene to Fall Out Boy's "Centuries."